Pakistani Children Recount Stories of Survival, Horror

'I will never forget the black boots approaching me'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2014 7:56 AM CST
Pakistani Children Recount Stories of Survival, Horror
Pakistani students pray during a special ceremony for the victims of Tuesday's school attack in Peshawar, at a school in Lahore, Pakistan, on Dec. 17, 2014.   (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

As Pakistan begins to bury its children, more stories are emerging from yesterday's Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar: of survival, and of horror. Some of them:

  • Among the children who survived: those who pretended they were dead, even after being shot. Bloomberg talks to Syed Basit Naqvi, who says boys in his room were lined up one by one and systematically shot in the head. The 13-year-old ducked slightly as he was fired upon. "The bullet slightly hit my head and I deliberately fell down," he says. He suspects the gunman believed he was dead and moved on. He then hid behind a chair with three other survivors, surrounded by his classmates and their blood. His mother, a teacher at the school, was killed. He learned this firsthand: He was in the same ambulance as her body.

  • Bloomberg describes the principal's office as "completely black." A military spokesman cites reports that "the principal was burned when she tried to stop attackers from killing children."
  • A number of staff shared her fate (reports variously say nine or 10 were killed): One student told NDTV, via the Guardian, "As soon as we hid under tables, they fired bullets at our legs and our heads and then they burned our madam. They burned our madam." A military source tells NBC News, "They burnt a teacher in front of the students in a classroom. They literally set the teacher on fire with gasoline and made the kids watch."
  • Of another teacher: "One of my teachers was crying, she was shot in the hand and she was crying in pain," a teen survivor tells Reuters. "One terrorist then walked up to her and started shooting her until she stopped making any sound." He was shot in both legs and managed to hide under a desk. Shahrukh Khan tells AFP he shoved his tie in his mouth to keep himself from screaming. "I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again. My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me; I felt as though it was death that was approaching me."
(More Pakistan stories.)

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